We may not typically have a lot of snow here in Tennessee, but temperatures drop and ice storms arise, which can pose repair challenges for your auto mechanic in Madison, TN. There are maintenance precautions you can take to keep your vehicle running smoothly despite the winter conditions. Here are six items to consider before it all begins:
- Switch out your battery: If you had a summer full of seeking out people with jumper cables, it is time to replace your battery. Batteries that are weak during warm temperatures will become dead for certain once winter hits. Colder temperatures place more stress on your battery, and the last thing you want is to have to wait for another jumpstart while it is raining or cold.
- Check your tires: Start by measuring the tread to make sure it will serve you when roads are wet or icy. Placing a penny in your tread Lincoln’s-head-first will determine if it is time for new tires. If the tread fails to cover Lincoln’s head, it is time for new tires. However, if the tires are fine, you need to keep them properly inflated. Tires lose one pound of air for every temperature drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Check them each morning especially when the nighttime temperature was lower than usual. If the pressure is low, inflate them as soon as possible.
- Clean the air plenum: The spot in front of your windshield that looks vented is called the air plenum. Its job is to facilitate water drainage and air circulation. When it fills with debris, it is not able to perform its function. Give it a good cleaning while it is still warm out and check your door, window and sunroof seals, too. You want your car to be watertight before the weather starts, and these inspections will reveal problems before you suffer their impacts.
- Change wiper blades: You rely on windshield wipers more in the winter. The weather is wetter and more unpredictable. If your windshield is consistently iced over every morning, that will wear out wiper blades quicker. Never run your wipers if they are still frozen to your windshield, and check their condition frequently. If you know the night will experience a freeze, prop your wiper blades up so they are not touching your windshield and incurring wear and tear.
- Watch your coolant levels: Coolant helps your heater as much as your air conditioner. You want to discover leaks now, rather than experience a dead heater later. If you suspect your coolant is dirty or other issues use it up quickly, take it in for a flush. Now is the time to discover and solve problems, rather than in the middle of winter.
- Assemble your emergency kit: If you are planning any holiday road trips, this is definitely necessary in case you end up stranded. Stock it with items like jumper cables and flashlights, but also extra fuses. The shiny thermal blankets that you find in camping stores can also be a lifesaver, since they can keep you warm while waiting for help. Have extra batteries handy, too.
Madison Muffler & Auto Repair recommends you see an auto mechanic in Madison, TN before the bad weather and holiday demands begin. Call us today to make an appointment.